Newsletter: Ex-Officer Charged With Murder In George Floyd’s Death

Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. That story and more are in today’s Rundown.

Minneapolis George Floyd protest
Protesters demonstrate outside of a burning fast food restaurant, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. John Minchillo / AP Photo
Minneapolis George Floyd protest
Protesters demonstrate outside of a burning fast food restaurant, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. John Minchillo / AP Photo

Newsletter: Ex-Officer Charged With Murder In George Floyd’s Death

Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. That story and more are in today’s Rundown.

Hey there! It’s Friday, and it’s been a busy news day. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Former Minneapolis officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck is charged with murder

Derek Chauvin, who could be seen in a video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck before he died, was taken into custody today, a Minneapolis official said. Chauvin faces third-degree murder and manslaughter charges, prosecutors said.

The news comes after protests in Minneapolis turned violent last night. Protesters sacked businesses and torched a police station, which had been evacuated. The National Guard says it has deployed more than 500 soldiers to the city.

Floyd’s death has sparked demonstrations across the nation. Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest have been fired, and the FBI has launched an investigation. [NPR]

Floyd and Chauvin were previously coworkers at a nightclub, according to Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins.

An autopsy of Floyd’s body found “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

“Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease,” said a statement attached to charges filed against Chauvin. “The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.” [Washington Post]

Police officials across the country have condemned the actions of the now-former Minneapolis police officers. But some civil rights advocates say authorities need to back those statements up with real reforms. [AP]

You can find photos from the Minneapolis protests in this link. [NPR]

And in Louisville, Ky., seven people were shot during a protest over the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor. [NPR]

2. Twitter flags Trump tweet, saying it glorified violence

Twitter took the unprecedented move today of limiting the visibility of a tweet from President Donald Trump. The social media company said the president violated its policy against “glorifying violence” when he posted a message about the protests in Minneapolis.

In the tweet, Trump called protesters “thugs” and said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The public cannot see the message without reading a brief warning added by Twitter.

The move is the latest salvo in the feud between the president and Twitter, which earlier this week added fact checks to some of Trump’s tweets. Trump yesterday signed an executive order that aims to limit broad legal protections enjoyed by social media companies, but some legal experts say the order is toothless. [NPR]

Former Vice President Joe Biden today said he was “furious” over Trump’s tweet, saying the president was “calling for violence against American citizens.” [CNBC]

3. Businesses throughout Illinois reopened today

Restaurants, retail stores and hair salons in many parts of the state are welcoming back customers so long as they follow some restrictions. That means restaurants have to stick with outdoor dining, face masks are required while you get a haircut and retailers can only have a limited number of in-store customers. [WBEZ]

Chicago won’t begin easing coronavirus restrictions until next Wednesday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot today announced that some streets will be closed to give restaurants more space for outdoor dining next week. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, state officials today announced 86 new deaths, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities to 5,270. Officials also announced 1,622 new cases after 21,796 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. That brings the total number of cases to 117,455 since the pandemic began. [WBEZ]

4. Trump says the U.S. is “terminating” relationship with World Health Organization

President Trump today said his administration will sever ties with the World Health Organization and instead send payments to other health organizations. Trump has blamed the WHO and China for the spread of the coronavirus as he’s faced criticism for his response to the crisis.

The U.S is the largest single donor to the WHO. Trump said last month he would freeze aid to the organization unless it made a number of changes, but the president said today they were not enacted. [AP]

Trump also announced the U.S. would end its special relationship with Hong Kong as China moves to tighten its grip on the semi-autonomous region. [New York Times]

5. South Korea closes schools again after surge in COVID-19 cases

Just days after reopening, more than 200 schools in South Korea were closed after 79 new cases were reported. That’s the highest daily number of cases reported in the country in the last two months.

Health officials have linked the new outbreak to a warehouse near Seoul that did not comply with preventative measures. Officials said they found traces of COVID-19 on the shoes and clothing of workers at the facility. [BBC]

Elsewhere in the world, cases are spiking in Brazil as some areas of the country begin easing coronavirus restrictions. [NPR]

In New Zealand, there is now just one known case of COVID-19. [NPR]

Worldwide, more than 362,000 deaths and more than 5.8 million cases have been reported. [Johns Hopkins]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Daily temperature checks and bans on handshaking are among the CDC’s guidelines for reopening offices. [Axios]
  • What makes for a good ad during a pandemic? The marketer for Corona beer has some tips. [WBEZ]
  • Face masks have become the latest cultural and political flashpoint in the U.S. [NPR]
  • Wasn’t this how Planet of the Apes started? Or am I thinking of 12 Monkeys? [Guardian]

Oh, and one more thing …

Archaeologists found what appears to be the world’s oldest stash of pot.

Researchers discovered cannabis at a 2,700-year-old temple in Israel, suggesting that Jewish worshipers may have burned the drug during services, reports the BBC. The biblical staple frankincense was also found on another altar at the temple. [BBC]

And because I’m naturally curious, the oldest evidence of smoking pot was discovered in ancient Chinese tombs last year. [National Geographic]

Tell me something good ...

OK, because I can’t stop watching this mesmerizing commercial from the ’90s, I’d like to know: What are some of your favorite memories from the ’90s?

Cathy writes:

A ’90s memory from 25 years ago today. My husband is speeding frantically east on Diversey toward St. Joseph Hospital with me in the throes of a fast-advancing labor. I mean, that oh-no-maybe-this-baby-will-be-born-in-the-car feeling. I say to him one sentence I had never uttered before: “Drive faster!”

We are stopped by a wedding limo at the old St. Sebastian Church, since torn down. My husband leans on the horn. “It’s a wedding!” cries the limo driver. My husband shouts back, “My wife is having a baby!”

I know him well. He was, and still is, the master of parking free in the city of Chicago. So when we pull up at the hospital, I look him in the eye and say, “Don't go looking for free parking — park in the garage.”

“Really?” he asks.

“Yes, or you’re going to miss the baby coming.” He drops me off and, for I think the first time in his life, actually pays for parking. And with him at my side, 20 minutes later, our daughter Mary Kate is born.

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! I’ll see you on Monday.